I am inviting the entire world to attempt to offend me or hurt my feelings. You can attack my appearance, my personal beliefs (like religion, politics, or my crazy vegan lifestyle), or you can even question my motives for doing this in the first place.
You can accuse me of being conceited, as some might say it would take an arrogant person to claim no other person has the power of his emotions to offend him.
But I would actually submit the opposite…
I propose that pride is the root of being offended. I have learned that most people, by default, think this about themselves:
“I’m a good person.”
Therefore, a “good person” deserves (that’s a dangerous word!) to be treated better; to be treated with more respect.
So when another person comes along and implies that “good person” is not as good as they think they are in their own mind, it is an attack against their identity.
Let’s talk about Identity Protective Cognition for a moment.
It’s the concept that when a person has an idea or belief that is so well-rooted in their identity, any information that someone hurls against them will only reinforce that person’s preexisting beliefs.
So whereas the default for most people is, “I’m a good person, therefore, my identity as a good person can constantly be under attack; from anyone to strangers on the highway to my spouse…”, my identity is different:
“I’m not a good person. I’m a flawed person who is aware I’ll ultimately never please everybody on a daily basis. But I’m confident in my identity in knowing that I will always disappoint someone no matter how hard I try.”
Imagine if that were your identity.
Not to mention, I have Identity Protective Cognition on the belief that I fundamentally can not be offended and that no one can hurt my feelings.
Therefore, anyone who even tries to offend me will only reinforce what I already believe:
No one controls my own emotions but me.
But please, try. I beg you.
It will only prove my theory to everyone else reading this today.
I believe Eleanor Roosevelt said it best: ”
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”